An extract on #stickerline
Usually, the purpose of historical negation is to achieve a national, political aim, by transferring war-guilt, demonizing an enemy, providing an illusion of victory, or preserving a friendship. Sometimes the purpose of a revised history is to sell more books or to attract attention with a newspaper headline. The historian James M. McPherson said that negationists would want revisionist history understood as, "a consciously-falsified or distorted interpretation of the past to serve partisan or ideological purposes in the present".
The Burning of books and burying of scholars (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: fnsh kngr; literally: "burning of books and burying (alive) of (Confucian) scholars"), or "Fires of Qin", is the purported burning of writings and slaughter of scholars during the Qin Dynasty of Ancient China, between the period of 213 and 210 BC. "Books" at this point refers to writings on bamboo strips, which were then bound together. This contributed to the loss to history of many philosophical theories of proper government (known as "the Hundred Schools of Thought"). The official philosophy of government ("legalism") survived.
During the existence of the Russian SFSR (19181991) and the Soviet Union (19221991), the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) attempted to ideologically and politically control the writing of both academic and popular history. These attempts were most successful in 193452 period. According to Mehnert, the Soviets attempt to control academic historiography (the writing of history by academic historians) to promote ideological and ethno-racial imperialism by Russians. During the 192856 period, modern and contemporary history was generally composed according to the wishes of the CPSU, not the requirements of accepted historiographic method. According to some authors, such as Mehnert, this practice was fundamentally corrupt.
During and after the rule of Nikita Khrushchev (195664), Soviet historiographic practice is more complicated. Although not entirely corrupted, Soviet historiography was characterized by complex competition between Stalinist and anti-Stalinist Marxist historians. To avoid the professional hazard of politicized history, some historians chose pre-modern, medieval history or classical history, where ideological demands were relatively relaxed and conversation with other historians in the field could be fostered; nevertheless, despite the potential danger of proscribed ideology corrupting historians' work, not all of Soviet historiography was corrupt.
Control over party history and the legal status of individual ex-party members played a large role in dictating the ideological diversity and thus the faction in power within the CPSU. The history of the Communist Party was revised to delete references to leaders purged from the party, especially during the rule of Joseph Stalin (192253).
In the Historiography of the Cold War, a controversy over negationist historical revisionism exists, where numerous revisionist scholars in the West have been accused of whitewashing the crimes of Stalinism, overlooking the Katyn massacre in Poland and disregarding the validity of the Venona messages with regards to Soviet espionage in the United States.